If not, then the most competitive seat that could be available is at McLaren, if Daniel Ricciardo were to move on early. I don’t see that happening, but I do think the next three or four races will be crucial if that situation is to change. Ricciardo has a contract, but Zak Brown has already spoken of “mechanisms” that could see the pair go their separate ways if they really wanted. But neither side really wants that at all, they want Ricciardo to be a success.
If there’s no sign of progress by mid-July then maybe thoughts will have changed because the driver market could move quickly, but I expect the McLaren line-up to be the same one next year.
That then makes Alfa Romeo next on Gasly’s list, and he’d be a very good addition to that team. A Bottas-Gasly pairing would be strong and provide the type of consistency from two drivers that is currently stopping Alfa from leading the midfield.
But Zhou Guanyu has been unlucky at times this year and has largely impressed the team as a rookie, so if the results start to follow then he might get a second season despite his Alpine links, and that’s only if Theo Pourchaire isn’t forcing his way into the reckoning by winning the Formula 2 title.
There’s also no space for Zhou back at Alpine – and similarly none for Gasly – because of Esteban Ocon’s existing contract and a straight choice between Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri for the other seat. Should Piastri get the nod, it could well be because Alonso has headed elsewhere, with whispers he could be bound for Aston Martin if Sebastian Vettel opts to retire.
It seems Vettel has been retired a hundred times already by people other than himself, and he’s now performing pretty well in a tricky car after missing the first two races due to Covid-19, so a third year at Aston feels more likely than not at this point. Plus he’s a longer-term option for Aston if you compare him to Alonso, given the fact he has six years on the Spaniard.